Amazon Drones Promise 30-Minute Delivery

Delivering overnight -- or even on Sundays -- isnEUt quite fast enough for Amazon.com founder Jeff Bezos. The e-commerce pioneer is now on a mission to deliver books and other goods in 30 minutes or less. The strategy relies on drones.

Dubbed Prime Air, Amazon has been working on the concept in its R&D lab. Although the company admits putting Prime Air into commercial use will take EUsome number of yearsEU as it advances the technology and waits for the necessary FAA rules and regulations, Bezos is clearly betting on the future with what he calls octocopters.

EUThese are effectively drones but thereEUs no reason that they canEUt be used as delivery vehicles . . . EU Bezos told CBS News. EUThis is early. This is still . . . years away. It drops the package. You come and get your package. And we can do half-hour delivery.EU

ItEUs Not Science Fiction

Bezos admits the drone delivery model looks like science fiction but he assures consumers itEUs real. The company even has a YouTube video demonstrating the concept. Amazon expects the technology to be commercially viable by the time the FAA settles on rules for unmanned aerial vehicles -- and those rules are in the works.

Amazon said the FAA is working on an approach for unmanned aerial vehicles that will prioritize public safety. Safety will also be the companyEUs top priority, and its vehicles will be built with multiple redundancies and designed to commercial aviation standards.

Amazon hopes the FAAEUs rules will be in place as early as 2015. The company is certain that one day Prime Air vehicles will be as normal as mail trucks on the road are today.

Bezos told CBS News the drones could carry objects of up to five pounds, which covers 86 percent of what the company delivers....

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